It is incredible how much information is now available on the internet, an illustration of this is the new Police crime website which generated so many hits upon launch that it actually crashed!
Websites like this demonstrate how many online tools are available to buyers when searching for a property without even venturing outside of their front door. The days of estate agents being custodians of the market are over.
You may think that the internet gives you the opportunity to ditch estate agents all together but unfortunately this isn’t the case. Most of the big property portals will not display your property if you decide to go it alone. The cheapest option is to employ an online estate agent such as turtlehomes.co.uk.
There are many websites you can use, including those which help you work out what your house may be worth.
You can check your credit rating on Experian and use a mortgage calculator to work out roughly what you can borrow.
Websites such as Nestoria and UpMyStreet show local neighbourhood information such as schools, council tax bands and crime statistics. The Environment Agency website has publically available maps highlighting in blue areas which are liable to flood. Local councils also publish online all planning applications which could have future impact on a property you are planning to purchase.
You can even view any property that you may be interested in thanks to google earth and google street view.
There is now no need to rely on an Estate Agent to tell you what a house sold for. The Land Registry records the actual sale price of most transactions in England and Wales. Sites such as Zoopla will show you not only what the house sold for but a current valuation guide.
You also don’t need an Estate Agent to tell you what houses are for sale within your search criteria. You can simply log onto a property portal such as rightmove or globrix, type in your preferences and it will display a list of suitable property.
In essence all the information that you need to buy a house is at your fingertips, the only thing you need an estate agent for is to arrange the viewing and act as the middle man for any price negotiations.
As the role of the modern estate agent decreases watch out for the new kid in town – the Online Estate Agent.